Look at the loo! Strange sight in Newton Stewart

Scouts with their cycle loo in Newton Stewart before heading onwards to New Galloway
Scouts with their cycle loo in Newton Stewart before heading onwards to New Galloway

To raise awareness of the importance of good toilet facilities to curbing life threatening diseases throughout the world, the Scouts from Castle Douglas have built a travelling toilet which made its way through mid Galloway at the weekend.

The ride, which is raising money to build Ventilated Improved pit latrines (VIP latrines) in rural Kenyan Schools, started in fine conditions from Newton Stewart on Friday with a helping push from Minnigaff Scouts.

But after only two and a half miles, disaster struck when the gear mechanism stripped on one of the centre drive wheels. This meant a full roadside strip down and repair with parts cannibalised from a spare bike.

After an hour and a half, they were back on the road up the Queens Way to New Galloway trying to get back on schedule. Speed peaked at 24 miles an hour and with just an ice cream stop at Clatteringshaws they reached New Galloway at 4.30pm. After a drink and a change of teams they set off via Mossdale for Laurieston, where they were met by Gatehouse Scouts who helped by adding fresh legs to the team on the road to Gatehouse of Fleet. After a beach bonfire and a big feed the Scouts bedded down in Gatehouse Scout Hall for the night.

By 8.30am they were back on the road for Kirkcudbright in worsening weather conditions. Luckily Kirkcudbright Church was holding a coffe morning and invited the wet Scouts in for tea and traybakes, only to discover that you cannot overfeed a Scout!

The climb out of Kirkcudbright on the Gelston road proved a real test of character but all those traybakes helped and they completed their journey in Castle Douglas with a parade down King Street.

The Scouts raised £546 in donations on their ride and have a further £250 pledged. They have set up a giving page on BTmydonate with £270 given so far. This means that they are over half way to their target of £2000 with which to build up to 4 double VIP latrines. The money will all go to the cost of building latrines in Schools around the market centre of Ekalakala in the north of Machakos district, Kenya If you would like to donate please contact Paul Hodson (Scout Leader) at hodson@redwing25.co.uk or on 01644 470320 or donate on line https://mydonate.bt.com/events/cdscoutscycleforkenya/146710.